Secondary Lesson Plan: Portrait of the Internment: Two Views









A. Grade Level:

8th, 9th, 10th

B. CDE Standards:

8th, 9th-12th

Visual Arts





1.0 - Artistic Perception: Students perceive and respond to works of art, objects in nature, events, and the environment. They also use the vocabulary of the visual arts to express their observations.

1.1 - Use artistic terms when describing the intent and content of works of art. (8th) Terms contained in Visual Arts Content Standards Appendix.

1.5 - Impact of Media Choice: Analyze the material used by a given artist and describe how its use influences the meaning of the work. (9th-12th)

2.0 - Creative Expression

2.6 - Create a two or three dimensional work of art that addresses a social issue. (9th-12th)

2.7 - Design a work of public art appropriate to and reflecting a location (8th)

3.0 - Historical and Cultural Context

3.1 - Examine and describe or report on the role of a work of art created to make a social comment or protest social conditions. (8th)

3.1 - Identify similarities and differences in the purposes of art created in selected cultures. (9th- 12th)

4.0 - Aesthetic Valuing

4.1 - Articulate how personal beliefs, cultural traditions, and current social, economic and political contexts influence the interpretation of the meaning or message in a work of art. (9th-12th)

4.2 - Develop a theory about the artist's intent in a series of works of art, using reasoned

statements to support personal opinions. (8th)

5.0 - Connections, Relationships, Applications

5.3 - Compare and contrast the ways in which different media cover the same art. (9th-12th)







C. Concepts Covered

Comparing and contrasting photographs and paintings of the same subject.

Subjective vs. objective interpretation of photography and art.

Point of view: understanding how a photographer and/or artist decides what to include and/or exclude.

Developing criteria for public artwork that accurately reflects a historical event.

D. Procedure

Time frame: 1 class period

1. Present photographs and paintings and sketches dealing with the relocation of Japanese Americans. The artwork could be transferred to overhead transparencies for more careful group study. The discussion will be in three sections.

2. There are three pairings of pictures:







a. Images 1, 2, and 3


1. Dorothea Lange, Mochida family awaiting evacuation bus, Hayward, CA, 5/8/42.2. Painting by Allen Say from Home of the Brave3. Henry Sugimoto, Puzzlement, oil painting.
Children tagged like packages to be sent to the assembly centers. Have students comment of the differences between a photograph and a painting. Questions for discussion may include: What does the photograph capture? What does the artist capture in the painting? What is included in the photograph and excluded in the painting? What do the expressions on the children tell you? What is added to each one? How do these changes affect the viewer? Which is more subjective? Objective? Which is more truthful?



b. Images 4 and 5
4. Ansel Adams, Baseball Game, 1943.5. Kango Takamura, Our Guard In The Watchtower…watercolor.
A baseball game at a relocation center. Note, the photograph taken by Ansel Adams does not include guards, barbed wire or guard towers. Ansel Adams was invited in Fall 1943 by Ralph Merritt (the camp director) to photograph Manzanar. The photographs he took did not include structures which made the camp look like a detention center. The tone of the painting by Kango Takamura is whimsical and humorous. The discussion can continue with questions that are similar to those above. What purpose does the photograph serve? The painting? Which is more truthful?



c. Images 6 and 7
6. Grace Warren, Fence Post, July 2002.7. Estelle Ishigo, Line Drawing of Children Flying A Kite, Heart Mountain, 1944.
Part of a remaining barbed wire fence and a sketch of children whose kite is caught in the barbed wire fence at their relocation center. In this pairing, discuss symbolism. What does the kite represent? The barbed wire? The broken fence in today's picture? What conclusions can be drawn about the lives of these children in the camp? Will they persist in trying to normalize their lives?


3. Discuss the power of art to represent historical events. Show students examples of public artwork designed to memorialize historical events (Images 8, 9, and 10). Have them discuss which of these pieces of public art is the most effective? Why? Which piece is the most hopeful?









a. Image 8b. Image 9c. Image 10
8. Grace Warren, Great Wall, Coldwater Canyon Blvd., Van Nuys, CA, 19859. Grace Warren, Forest Lawn, Burbank, CA, 200010. Grace Warren, Holocaust Memorial, Miami, FL, 2000
Mural depicting American injustices to Native Americans. (Mural is located on wall of the L.A. River along Coldwater Canyon Boulevard in Van Nuys, CA.)Monument to Holocaust victims of concentration camps.(Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Burbank, CA.)Holocaust Memorial (Miami, FL)


4. Have students create a two dimensional or three dimensional piece of public art to memorialize the relocation of Japanese Americans and Japanese Nationals during World War II. Consider the photographs and paintings studied. What images linger as symbol of the relocation? Remind students that public art must be accessible to many people and its message should be clear and easily interpreted. Make a list of criteria for an effective piece of public art. Provide materials for students to create their own memorial.

E. Materials Needed

Images 1 through 10:

1. Dorothea Lange, Mochida family awaiting evacuation bus, Hayward, CA, 5/8/42.

2. Painting by Allen Say from Home of the Brave.

3. Henry Sugimoto, Puzzlement, oil painting.

4. Ansel Adams, Baseball Game, 1943.

5. Kango Takamura, Our Guard In The Watchtower…watercolor.

6. Grace Warren, Fence Post, July 2002.

7. Estelle Ishigo, Line Drawing of Children Flying A Kite, Heart Mountain, 1944.

8. Grace Warren, Great Wall, Coldwater Canyon Blvd., Van Nuys, CA, 1985

9. Grace Warren, Forest Lawn, Burbank, CA, 2000

10. Grace Warren, Holocaust Memorial, Miami, FL, 2000

Paints, markers, colored pencils, canvas, paper, wood, clay, Styrofoam, glue, fabric and embroidery thread for quilting, weaving, etc. to create a piece of public art.

F. Assessment

Class discussion.

Evaluation of public art project.

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Last updated: February 28, 2015

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